GCDD Hosts Record-Breaking Advocacy Days

Over 650 disability advocates registered to attend the 2020 GCDD Advocacy Days at the Georgia State Capitol – making it the biggest series the DD Council has hosted since inception of the initiative.

Hosted by the Georgia Council on Developmental Disabilities (GCDD) in January, February and March, advocates met with their legislators to discuss the issues important to the disability community in Georgia.

Four different Advocacy Days focused on policies affecting people with disabilities and brought together advocates from across the state to speak with their elected officials. Topics included Gracie’s Law, inclusive post-secondary education, home and community-based services and competitive, integrated employment. In addition to these four events, GCDD planned a fifth Advocacy Day to focus on the school-to-prison pipeline. Unfortunately, the final event was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic that hit the United States in early March.

“All of our advocates – whether a self-advocate, a family member or a caregiver – were empowered to connect with their legislators to inform and educate them about issues that matter to them,” said Eric Jacobson, executive director of GCDD. “It was motivating to see advocacy in action and be at the forefront of positive change for people with developmental disabilities across Georgia.”

View all the Advocacy Days photos posted on Facebook.

Advocacy Days by the Numbers

  • 221 - were able to educate and inform their legislators about issues important to them
  • 276 - felt better informed/ trained on issues impacting individuals with developmental disabilities
  • 292 - plan on continuing to advocate on behalf of people with developmental disabilities

Quotes from attendees:

“Everything was very well-organized and the team leaders were very knowledgeable and helpful.” – Toni Franklin, Educator

“Best Advocacy Days ever! Thanks to our Team Lead Sophia Turner, we met our representative and senators!” – Dawn Willis, Caregiver

“This event was great. I was able to use advocacy skills I acquired and advocate for Gracie’s Law.” – Nina Martinez, Self-Advocate